Auditors find P13-M school kits gather dust in Cebu warehouse

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SCHOOL kits worth P12.9 million were found gathering dust inside a warehouse of the Cebu provincial government in the inspection of the Commission on Audit—those items went unused last school year when those were supposed to be handed out.

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State auditors revealed that in February 2012, the Cebu provincial capitol purchased school supplies for distribution to student and teachers.

Crismark General Merchandise took home the P4.5-million contract for the supply of school bags, while Prince Warehouse Club, Inc. bagged the P22 million contract for the school supplies.

By October 2012, a total of P18.87 million worth of school kits and supplies corresponding to 614,860 pieces, or 71 percent of the total number of kits for the two contracts, “remained undistributed.”

However, upon verification a total of P483,371.43 worth of school items left undistributed in 2011 were still in stock, bringing the total worth to P19.35 million, which were “not availed of by the intended end-users for school year 2012 to 2013.”

As if that was not enough, the Audit agency said that the school supplies even “bore the names and images of the elective office.”

Auditors said that this violated COA Circular 2012-2003 which strikes as irregular those expenditures plastered with the names, initials or images of public officials in government projects, programs or properties.

During the exit conference, the unnamed head of the General Services Office informed auditors that by 2012 yearend, the balance of the school kits on hand was reduced to P12.9 million.

Former acting governor Agnes Magpale said that she already entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Education for the distribution of the school supplies.

The Commission told the provincial capitol to “exercise prudence in the use of government funds.”

In its reply, Cebu officials from the provincial general services office said that their participation only involved transportation and manpower support in the distribution.

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